The fire in Kamala Mills on Friday brought back painful memories of a blaze that engulfed Kurla’s City Kinara hotel in 2015 in which seven students and a design engineer were killed. Shefali Thapar, cousin of Aakash Thapar, who died in the 2015 incident, slammed the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) for not acting against violations then and failing to act against violations now in the Kamala Mills compound case.
“My brother would not have died if action had been taken against the hotel after the violations. The BMC officials chose to ignore it, which cost the lives of eight innocent people. The Kamala Mills Compound case looks no different to me. I hope the civic body wakes up now and takes action against all restaurants that do not take fire safety norms seriously and choose to flout them,” Shefali said.
Relative of another victim said: “We went through the emotional turmoil all over again, seeing the Kamala Mills Compound fire. They (families), too, lost their loved ones to the negligence of BMC.” On October 16, 2015, seven students and a design engineer were trapped after a staircase leading up to the first floor of the hotel was destroyed by the fire. The eight were charred to death.
While five of the students were from Don Bosco Technology Institute, two were media students from a college on the same campus. The eighth person was identified as Arvind Kanojia, a 31-year-old design engineer from Virar. He has two school-going children.
The students from the Don Bosco Institute of Technology campus were identified as Sharjeel Shaikh, Akash Thappar, Taha Shaikh, Brian Fernandes, Sajid Choudhary, Erwin D’Souza and Bernadetta D’Souza. They had gone for lunch after taking examination.